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Tourism and business boosting Hamilton

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Good news on tourism and business, a proposal to replace every streetlight in Hamilton, and plans for an upgrade of Garden Place were part of a busy day for Hamilton City Council’s Growth and Infrastructure Committee this week.

The Committee received positive reports from Hamilton and Waikato Tourism Ltd (HWTL) and the Hamilton Central Business Association (HCBA). The HWTL report showed Hamilton/Waikato was now New Zealand’s fifth largest region by visitor expenditure and the third largest region for conventions and business events (behind Auckland and Wellington). The HCBA report highlighted a buoyant and positive business atmosphere in the CBD with a 10 per cent increase in retail spend annually and significant new business developments expected to bring a further 1700 workers to the central city by 2018.

A proposal for a redevelopment of Garden Place through a partnership between the Council and private businesses was presented to the Committee, presenters saying the proposal had an indicative budget of $3.8M, of which they would commit to funding $800,000 and were hopeful of funding around half the total cost through the private sector. The Committee resolved to receive the report and asked the Chief Executive to work with the group to provide further information for the proposal to be considered during the 10-Year Plan process.

Plans to replace Hamilton’s streetlights with more energy-efficient LED lights were endorsed by the Committee, which approved the first two stages of a five-stage process, initially replacing 13,000 streetlights on local and arterial roads in the next 15 months. This replacement is supported by a nationwide NZ Transport Agency subsidy of 85 per cent of the cost. Proposals to bring forward the final three stages of the project - replacing a further 2200 decorative lights as well as under-verandah lighting and additional streetlights in some areas will be considered at the 24 October Growth and Infrastructure Committee meeting.

A plan to improve Hamilton’s waste minimisation will go to public consultation from 9 October after the Committee approved the draft Statement of Proposal. The Council is required by the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 to review and update its Waste Management and Minimisation Plan by April 2018. Hamilton’s draft plan sets per capita targets by 2024 of a five per cent reduction in rubbish to landfill, an increase in diversion of material from landfill by 10 per cent, a 10 per cent reduction in kerbside collection rubbish to landfill and a 10 per cent increase in kerbside recycling. The outcome of the consultation will be reported back to the Council in February 2018.

The Committee also approved its preferred route for the Hamilton section of Te Awa, a 70km cycleway from Ngaruawahia to south of Cambridge, subject to consultation with stakeholders and securing the Council’s share of funding via the forthcoming 10-Year Plan.

The Committee approved a budget of up to $591,000 for removal and replacement of a failed drainage pipe in Valley Terrace, and received reports on the Dinsdale roundabout and on a Memorandum of Understanding between the Council’s Animal Control team and the SPCA.

After votes were declared equal, an agenda item relating to a road stopping proposal for land adjacent to Hillsborough Terrace was referred to the 21 September Council meeting.

Reports and further agenda information are available on the Council’s website.

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